I was first introduced to travel because my father worked for a major corporation that required frequent trips all over the country. He made an incredible effort to bring my mom and the kids along on as many trips as possible. It was on these early adventures that I was first exposed to the thrill of experiencing new cultures. When we were at home we lived modestly and rarely went out to eat so it was a real treat to dine at restaurants on vacation. It was at these restaurants that we learned the importance of good table manners and respect for great service. My parents always encouraged us to try as many new foods as possible, at least once. My mom was especially influential in helping me fall in love with travel. As a teacher, she spent a lot of time on our vacations sharing historical information and emphasizing the cultural importance of each city we visited. My perspective grew wildly and I learned valuable life lessons. These memories still vividly resonate in my mind today. Traveling with my family inspired me to explore the world as soon as I had my first opportunity. As a poor college student, I traveled to Austria and studied abroad, loving every minute! I haven’t lost the travel bug since.